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German CDU reaches coalition agreements in two states

15 Jun 2017 17:48 (+01:00 GMT)
German CDU reaches coalition agreements in two states

London, 15 June (Argus) — Germany's CDU party has reached coalition agreements in two states, with the future governments taking different positions on onshore wind power in their region.

The CDU will head state governments as the senior coalition partner in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein and in the central west state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Both coalition agreements reached this week will be presented in detail tomorrow, according to party representatives.

In Schleswig-Holstein, the CDU has formed a coalition with the FDP and the Green Party.

In details of the coalition agreement that have emerged so far, the three parties will seek to encourage the re-powering of existing onshore wind plants, especially in wind-rich coastal areas. The parties have also agreed to allow larger distances between wind turbines and residential areas in return for supporting re-powering elsewhere.

The set-up is widely seen as a potential test of a potential national coalition between the three parties.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU-CSU union briefly held meetings with the Greens following the general election in 2013 but did not initiate formal coalition talks because of widely differing positions on a variety of issues and as a CDU-CSU and Green Party coalition had never been tested before, including at state level. The FDP crashed out of the lower house of parliament in 2013 because it had failed to capture at least 5pc of the vote, but it is currently polling at around 8-9pc.

Germany will hold general elections on 24 September.

In the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the CDU will form a coalition with the FDP. Both parties in their election manifesto had backed the state's lignite plants and mines by opposing a law-enforced gradual exit from lignite and coal-fired power generation. The FDP has indicated that its manifesto pledge of increasing the distance between wind turbines and residential buildings will be part of the coalition agreement to be presented tomorrow.